Effects of embryonic exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls on zebrafish (Danio rerio) retinal development

Authors

  • Yan-Ping Wang,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    2. Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Qin Hong,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Da-ni Qin,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    2. Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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  • Chun-Zhao Kou,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    2. Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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  • Chun-Mei Zhang,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    2. Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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  • Mei Guo,

    1. Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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  • Xi-Rong Guo,

    1. Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    2. Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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  • Xia Chi,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Pediatrics, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
    • Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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  • Mei-Ling Tong

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Pediatrics, Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China
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M.-L. Tong, Department of Pediatrics,Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 210004, China.

E-mail: kt99cn@yahoo.com.cn

X. Chi, Department of Pediatrics,Nanjing Maternal and Child Health Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, 210004, China.

E-mail: chixia2001@njmu.edu.cn

ABSTRACT

Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent environmental pollutants that affect embryonic development. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of embryonic exposure to PCBs on early retinal development in zebrafish, Danio rerio. Zebrafish embryos were immediately exposed to different concentrations (0, 0.125, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg) of PCBs per liter of medium at 28.5 °C. Embryos were assessed at 30, 48, 72 and 96 h post-fertilization (hpf) for changes in embryonic survival rate, development, larval retinal morphology and ultrastructure of the retina. The results show that PCB exposure decreased the survival rate of embryos in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Embryos exposed to the higher concentrations of PCBs (0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 mg l−1) displayed obvious gross morphological deformities. At 72 hpf, the retinal layer development of zebrafish was delayed at higher PCB concentrations (1.0 mg l−1). At 96 hpf, irregularity of photoreceptor cells arrangement and thickening of photoreceptor and ganglionic layers were observed in PCB-treated larvae at concentrations of 0.25–1 mg l−1. Ultrastructural examination showed signs of growth inhibition of the photoreceptor outer segment at 0.25–1 mg l−1 PCB exposure at 72 hpf, as well as the appearance of massive vacuoles and holes inside the outer segments in the PCB exposure group at 96 hpf. These results suggest that embryonic exposure to moderate and high levels of PCBs induced developmental deficits in zebrafish retinas, particularly in photoreceptor cells. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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